When I accelerated my interest in the Postal History of the smaller Gulf States a few years back I turned to the Internet in my search for information. It quickly became clear to me that the information available on the Internet was both limited and unorganized and that the traditional sources of information, such as books and journals, were still the best place to look. The only problem was accumulating all these sources, as many of them are illusive.
I started accumulating as much material as possible, including the fine work of individuals such as of Major Tomkins, JAL Cooper and Neil Donaldson. Societies such as The Great Britain Overprint Society and The Indian Study Circle were also important sources of information and their work confirmed the presence of a dynamic philatelic environment, where new discoveries were still being made.
In my search I have also been fortunate enough to come across a large number of very kind and knowledgeable individuals, all of who have shared their knowledge and theories with me. Much of this information is not available by any media and is as such only spread by mouth.
It was the diversity of all this information and its sources that inspired me to develop a website concept which would allow for the logging of the information in an organized manner making it available to everyone with an interest in The Gulf.
The result has been the development of an interactive template based on the idea of creating a cyber-museum dedicated to the postal history of seven Gulf States: Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat/Oman and the U.A.E. The key parameter of the database is “time” meaning that all items in the database are defined by a date, which allows for a structured presentation of the database. The Concept, in its simplicity, is to create a database, which is as comprehensive as possible for the benefit of the collecting community across the globe.
The presentation of images and information has been inspired by the work of the above-mentioned individuals and organizations. Material has been divided into 3 groups:
The stamps officially issued by the country have all been listed by order of date. Varieties and errors will be listed as they are submitted. Indian, Pakistani or other stamps used over time in the Gulf will be listed as their use is brought to the attention of the Webmaster. Cross usage will be logged as well.
2. Cancellation Marks, Registration Labels, Postage Dues and other postal markings.
The tradition of identifying the earliest and latest known use continues. Items posted on the website outside the known dates will automatically update the database with the new parameters. The database will be updated with the images of new discoveries as they appear.
3. Covers, Aerogrammes and other Philatelic Items.
Covers and Aerogrammes will be linked to the postal marks and stamps that they carry ensuring the connectivity of the database and consistent update of the statistics delivered by the template. Other Philatelic Items will be displayed and linked to all associated items within the database.
Contributors can also submit articles that they have written for “The Library”. These articles will then be available to the community for downloading.
Last but not least the concept and its template is open to suggestions. It is my intention to make it as practical and efficient as possible for the community to use. How to use the database and its template is clarified in the user guide along with the quality requirements of the database.
I hope that the Concept will encourage you to share your collection and knowledge with the community and help us all become better philatelists and historians.
Enjoy the website
R E T U R N T O L I S T I N G